How to identify Sloes to make sloe gin etc

Andy Hamilton

Brewer, forager, broadcaster, spaceman occasional liar

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18 Responses

  1. p. says:

    Any known sloe bushes in st helens / merseyside area please?

  2. Emilie says:

    Hi there,
    Is there a dangerous fruit that sloes can be confused with? I was out picking blackberries and I think I have spotted some sloes.
    Many thanks

    • Without trying to sound glib Emilie it is hard to say really Emilie as I don’t know how easily you might confuse things. You may well have as they are starting to ripen now in the south of the UK. I guess Laurel berries and Ivy berries you need to be sure of. Check they have a plum stone and do they look like in the video?

  3. Eric McKie says:

    Sloe’s in abundance in the Dover/Deal part of Kent this year. Have been meaning to try and make sloe gin and sloe vodka for years.

  4. jean wait says:

    Plenty of sloes growing in concord park Sheffield 5, bottom end of the park near the football pitch.. cheers

  5. Kate says:

    Laurel bushes have poisonous berries. Not easy to confuse but just in case!

  6. G Rinne says:

    Sloe berries are blue/black in coulour but hard – are they ready to pick?

  7. Katie Plimmer says:

    Hi Andy, just found what I think to be sloes so I picked a berry and a leaf. The berry has a large stone and the berry is very dark purple, almost black in colour. Would I be able to send a photo of the leaf and stone so you can verify? Thanks

  8. Debi Hearn says:

    Hi Andy, do you know of any good places in and around North Somerset, Bristol, Bridgwater to find these little gems!!

  9. Tracey Upton says:

    I have been sloe picking and have inadvertently picked a few what I thought were sloes, after going a bit sloe blind! It seems some are red inside. Round as a sloe though are these damsons? I always thought they were greenish too. Please advise as I don’t want to poison anyone! They have stones inside and are the same size as sloes. In fact pretty much identical except for the red flesh!

    • Hard to ID with any accuracy without a photo – was the stone the same shape as a sloe stone? Did the tree or bush you picked from have the same leaves? It might just be a wild variant. Suggest you go back to the place you picked them from with a tree book and have a double check. Good luck!

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